Isn’t Everything Better With Capes?

Items found while running now include modern art.

I found this piece during my cool-down this morning. Cloudy day, humid; finished up a shortie while silently processing my irritation that people continue to misuse the word quarantine. It appears very few people know what quarantine actually means. It also appears the majority of people who are self-isolating or practicing social distancing think it amounts to quarantine and therefore use the terms interchangeably. And it gets on my nerves simply because it’s a misuse of terminology and I am a wordsmith.

Quarantine means no contact of ANY kind, not even among people in the same household. The infected individual is separated from EVERYONE. No one goes in. No one goes out. True quarantine is complete solitude with the possible exception of medical professionals. No one is allowed near you or your quarters; not even your family. Everyone who is not infected leaves the home and cannot return until quarantine is lifted. If you are simply staying home with your family and going out only for essentials, you are not quarantined. I am not quarantined.

Not that it really matters. As long as we are responsibly modifying our lifestyles to help flatten the curve, it doesn’t really matter much which term we use, right? Right, in theory. But it irritates me when folks dare to complain AND misuse the term at the same time, because if we were truly quarantined we would all have very different complaints. And we sure as hell wouldn’t be posting photos of our entire damn family pogo-sticking together and calling it Day Whatever of Quarantine.

But who cares? Mercy cares. I’m working on it — or I was until the modern art moment.

So I’m cooling off, processing these thoughts and letting them go, and I switch to thoughts of reduced overall human activity on my regular routes making for reduced findings along my regular routes. With fewer people out and about there are fewer things dropped, tossed, or lost for me to find. Last weekend I found an uninspiring six cents. It still money, of course, but it didn’t feel blog worthy. So I head home this morning on barren, moneyless streets. I turn a corner, walk a block, and behold the sculpture posted above lying in the street. I immediately recognized it as art (wire sculpture), not a scrap, and rescued it.

It looks humanoid to me. A mixed media rendering of a human doing … something. Dancing. Hailing a cab. Singin’ in the rain. It’s made of metal wire and a flexible black coating partially separated from the wire. Or should I say, artfully separated from the wire. High fiving. Drawing a sword. Flinging a bouquet. Tossing around the word quarantine the way we’ve all adulterated the words epic, random, and literally. Yep, that’s it. The more I look at it, the more it seems to be jacking around. Fucking shit up. Spoken language, body language, written language; mixing it all up. Breaking all the rules. Or maybe it is someone playing soccer in a cape.

So this is another object lesson from the Universe, like the disembodied Grinch head I found a few weeks ago. Maybe let folks say it wrong, Mercy. Mix it all up. Transpose and interchange. Let them conflate ideas and assumptions and then boastfully and ignorantly flaunt them. Because it’s crafts at home. Or cooking food at home. Or creating clever posts and funny videos together at home. Being stupid and real and cranky and messy and wrong but doing it at home together. With conversation. And learning shit. And building an alternative set of skills out of necessity.

So maybe I can lighten up and consider the result. What kind of soccer player plays soccer in a cape? An innovator. A person who played soccer by the rules a zillion times before figuring out what the sport really needed was capes. And look at him/her go — wronging it up. And this wire sculpture was a mock-up of the new league logo. While soccer purists wring their hands and cry foul, bellowing that it’s not bloody soccer! You can’t call it soccer! Maybe it’s better than soccer.

What we are all doing is certainly better than quarantine, no? Yes, yes it is better. I’m grateful for the point.

Be well, friends. I no longer care what you call it. Just be well.

— Mercy

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